Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson breaks down UNC
Like most coaches, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson will tell you that everyone on the other team is amazing, and after listening to him you’ll wonder how his team could possibly be favored.
But it’s still interesting to hear him say he tried to recruit Romar Morris and A.J. Blue and that the Tar Heels’ tight ends are as good as anyone’s in the country, and why his offense was so successful in last year’s meeting.
So here are Johnson’s thoughts on UNC:
This week, I think the competition level ratchets up a little bit (compared to Duke). North Carolina was picked in the preseason to be one of the top teams in our division. They’ve got a returning quarterback that is a great player and a good set of skill guys. Their tight ends are as good as anyone’s in the country. Defensively they seem to be playing better this year than they were a year ago. They’re running around making plays so it’ll be a big challenge for us on Saturday.”
On North Carolina’s running backs:
“Romar Morris is a very fast guy who we tried to recruit here. A.J. Blue is more of a physical 215-220 pound back who breaks tackles but also has good speed. He was a high school quarterback that we tried to recruit at Navy. They complement each other well and give their team a good dimension or changeup. They’ve got another young guy in Khris Francis who’s quick, fast and maybe not quite as big as either of the other two, but more explosive.
On North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron:
“He’s a really good player. He’s probably an NFL guy. He’s versatile enough to where they can split him out
when they’re in 12 personnel. In fact, they’ve got two good tight ends. So when they’re in 12 personnel they can split both of them out wide and still run their offense. We’ve just got to play our scheme and try to get guys around him and get pressure on the quarterback. He’ s going to make his plays. He’s a good player and you’re not going to shut him out.”
On North Carolina Quarterback Bryn Renner:
“You’ve got to get ready to play them like you do every team. You put together a plan defensively, practice it,
and then you go out there and do it. We won’t change the way we practice or the way we play. You’ve got to get your system and then try to execute at a high level. There’s nothing magical you can do to where you say ‘ok they’ve got a great quarterback so we’ve got to cha nge this or that.’ You try to change coverage and to get pressure at times. Hopefully you can get pressure with a four man rush. You’ve got to get them into some third and longs. They’re a big screen team and a lot of their passes are quick games and scree ns so it’s hard to get pressure when they’re doing that.”
On North Carolina’s defense last year:
Vad (Lee) broke some tackles scrambling. He made some things happen. If you back and look at last year, they would probably tell you that their biggest problem last year was missed tackles. They missed a lot of tackles. There were plenty of times where they had guys with opportunitie s to make plays and our guys either made them miss or broke the tackle.”